However, this changes very little.
Al-Qaeda will not collapse because of his death, anymore than the US collapsed after the assassination of Lincoln, McKinley, or Kennedy. Bin Laden had been quiet for years, living (as I stated long, long ago) in a mansion in Pakistan. He had no real contact with other al-Qaeda members.
Dead or alive, bin Laden will continue to inspire al-Qaeda. Only now, they will want revenge. This will make their attacks rather more reckless – and deadly.
Of course, the real issue is whether or not he is actually dead. I believe he is, although the timing is incredibly conveinent. Obama has a low approval rating, the Republicans are beginning the pre-election rantings against him, and the American people are still (despite government assurances) hurting from the economic crisis. Then, like magic and out of the blue, we “find” bin Laden, and Obama is able to give an oh so fiery, oh so patriotic speech!
Then there is the question of the body. The government claimed it was treated according to Muslim proscriptions. Well and good. But was it, really? Of course not. I guarantee an autopsy would have shown numerous post-mortem wounds. The manner of his death was sketchy, only that he was shot in the head. It would be interesting to see whether he was shot in the front of the head, or the back of the head (which is far more likely). I have no doubts that the “glorious” US soldiers would have made him suffer, after which they would have had their “fun” with his corpse. How nice that he was give a quick “burial at sea”!
Where are the photos? Just as the US soldiers took photos of the murder of President Saddam Hussein, I am sure that they took photos of their most hated foe. The cog in the US military machine that is the US soldier would not have passed up its only chance at making history by not taking some sort of grisly “souvenir”. They do it with their “normal” victims, but not bin Laden?
The death of bin Laden is not a blow to terrorism, nor is it vindication of Bush, or a victory for freedom and democracy. It is simply another murder committed by the current Imperialist superpower.